Friday, November 24, 2006

Give Us That Old Time Terror

No, it's not a new strategy by Islamic terror organizations like Hamas, Hezbollah, or Al-Qaeda. It's not the use of grandmothers wrapped in burkas, nor is it some kind of sinister plot like carrying explosives in gels or liquids.

It's terror the old fashioned way just like we used to see during the Cold War.

LONDON He stopped at a bar to meet with a former colleague. Later, he rendezvoused with another contact. Sometime that day a few weeks ago, former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko may have been poisoned.

Police now are tracing his final steps trying to determine how a rare radioactive substance could have killed the sharp critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

I don't know about you, but this seems a bit fishy to me. Viktor Yushchenko, Ukraine’s opposition leader (at the time) gets poisoned, a journalist critical of Putin gets gunned down in Russia, and now an ex-spy critical of Putin and investigating the journalist's death turns up dead with polonium in his system. How much more does the court of public opinion need to figure this one out.

But as you may guess,
Putin and his entourage are denying everything and are sounding a bit defensive.

Putin said Friday there was no proof it was a "violent death."

....Putin's government had earlier strongly denied involvement in Litvinenko's death, calling the allegation "nothing but nonsense."

"It's so silly and unbelievable that it's not worth comment," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in Helsinki, Finland, where Putin is attending a summit with European Union leaders.

Almost every major newspaper in the world is calling this a "poisoning". But within Russia, where Czar Putin controls the press, the incident is referred to as an illness.

Ailing former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko's condition has deteriorated and doctors remain puzzled by his critical illness, which probably was not caused by the toxic metal thallium or radiation, a doctor said Thursday.A friend said Litvinenko was on life support.

Note, they are using an old AP report and haven't brought themselves to call it what it is. I wonder why they are in no hurry to update their story

Check out the Moscow Times, it's buried and not even front page material. (Unlike most other world news agencies.)

Now, the thing we must all keep in mind is that there isn't enough evidence to legally charge anyone in this. And although Comrade Putin most likely is involved (or at the very least had prior knowledge of the dire plot), the investigation is ongoing and may very well yield more information as it all unfolds.

But right now, from what we are seeing and hearing from all concerned, this incident is quite alarming. From most everything we see and hear out of Putin's Russia (as of late), we can safely deduce that Russian leader has set back the cause of freedom substantially. It may not be the Stalin era and it may not even be Brezhnev's era. But he has definitely set back Mother Russia from what Gorby left to Yeltsin, and Yeltsin left to Putin.

And as alarming as all of this may sound on a normal day, this is not the worst we can hear coming from the Russian government. Take a look at Fore Left's post on Putin , follow his links, and see what is really a troubling turn of events.

So? Just where are the stalwarts of freedom and rational thought on this?

So far, there's been no official reaction by the U.S. government (at least not one that turns up in a search). Members of Congress and the White House haven't been commenting on it. Neither Republicans nor Democrats have issued any statements that PYY is aware of.

And what about the EU, that bastian of liberty and moralist institution that condemns the tactics of the American government at nearly every turn? Not much from them, as of yet either. And they have a summit with Vladi going on right now. But the European journalists have been on the story, full-force.

As the summit got started it was clear that there were two sets of meetings going on; one, where officials waded through the discussions on energy, foreign policy and the transport problems on the Russo-Finnish border.

And another, in the press room, where journalists clustered round Russian representatives and peppered them with questions about the life and death of Mr Litvinenko.

So, to all of you that think Russia is not so much of a threat anymore, maybe you should re-think that stance. And while it is true that there is no real hard evidence to indict anyone (and maybe will never be), there is one other thing you must admit is true. People that cross Vladimir Putin have a way of getting dead.

So, may God help the next person that irritates this man, because (to borrow a phrase from Johnny Rivers) odds are he won't live to see tomorrow.

And that, my friends, is terror. That old-time terror, the old fashioned way.

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